Putin arrives in North Korea for summit with Kim: reports

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un greet each other during their meeting at the Pyongyang Sunan International Airport outside Pyongyang, North Korea, June 18. AP-Yonhap

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in North Korea in his first trip to the reclusive country in 24 years, Russian news outlets reported Wednesday, as he is set to hold a summit with leader Kim Jong-un in another sign of their deepening ties.

Putin began his state visit to Pyongyang early Wednesday morning (Korea time), according to TASS and Sputnik, amid growing concerns that burgeoning bilateral defense cooperation would help prop up Russia’s war operations in Ukraine and enhance North Korea’s weapons programs to the detriment of regional and global peace.

Kim and the Russian leader greeted each other with a hug at the airport, reports said — a spectacle underscoring their growing bond that has jelled in the midst of crippling international sanctions against their countries and their diplomatic isolation on the global stage.

Putin last visited Pyongyang in July 2000 when he met with then North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, the late father of the current leader. This 토토 week’s visit comes nine months after the current North Korean leader had a summit with Putin in Russia’s Far East in September.

Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s foreign policy aide, has told TASS that the summit between Kim and Putin may produce a treaty on a “comprehensive strategic partnership,” a document expected to accelerate and broaden the two countries’ cooperation.

Since the summit in September, Pyongyang and Moscow have been strengthening their security partnership in ways reminiscent of their countries’ Cold War-era camaraderie.

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